Kingswood School’s Career Guidance Programme is designed to support the School’s philosophy of “establishing the development of character, talent, responsibility and independence as the important foundation for adult life”.
The programme encourages students to become self-aware, using their understanding of their own strengths and interests to help them to make informed choices which affect them during their school life. Ultimately, the programme aims to equip students with the tools they will need to help them to make their own choices after their school career and subsequently during their adult working life.
The programme enables every student to think carefully about their future career by helping them to understand and experience the working world and to learn key employability skills.
Kingswood’s Career Guidance Programme includes access to online career information resources, career planning lessons, skills workshops, one-to-one career guidance meetings and a wide range of events and activities, including career seminars, attendance at Career fairs and, in the Sixth Form, a work experience week.
The Heap Library houses a well-stocked Careers library where students are able to access a wide range of publications, including books which help students to make choices; books which help identify possible future careers based on subject choices; and University prospectuses.
Each year, students take part in a number of tailored activities which are designed to provide a smooth transition from one year to the next, and address the academic choices which they are required to make at key moments during their school career: GCSE, A-Level and all post-18 options, including apprenticeships and higher education.
Alongside the Head of Careers, Eugénie Pasco, the delivery of the programme is supported by teachers, parents and Kingswood alumni, as well as carefully selected career education agencies.
In Year 7, Careers Education is introduced and delivered as part of the PSHCE programme. Lessons will include activities and discussions based around the following questions:
- Using my imagination and projecting into the future – what can I imagine myself doing as a job?
- What is a career?
- What kinds of jobs are there?
- What do I need to do this year at school in order to start preparing for the future?
In Year 8, lessons are designed to complement the Year 8 Young Entrepreneur Day, and will focus on key employability skills such as working in a team and making presentations.
Lessons will include activities and discussions based around the following questions:
- What’s my personality type?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses when working in a team?
- What is an entrepreneur?
- What makes a successful business?
- What is a good employee?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of running your own business?
In Year 9, Careers Education is delivered as part of the PSHCE programme and complemented by a half-day 'Making Choices' workshop, delivered by Eugénie Pasco and an outside Careers Education agency.
Lessons will include activities and discussions based around the following:
- Identifying different personality types and individual strengths and weaknesses
- How to use a Career Management Tool
- Introduction via an online Career Management Tool to Careers of interest, varying work styles, different workplaces, and life priorities
Having explored the above, prior to making their GCSE choices, all pupils will attend a 'Making Choices' workshop. The aims of the workshop are to highlight to pupils the importance of understanding their own strengths and personality style and using this knowledge to learn to take responsibility for their own future career pathway and the challenging choices that lie ahead.
In Year 10, Careers lessons form part of the General Studies rotation. Students spend approximately five weeks with the Head of Careers and will complete activities and class discussion based around the following questions:
- Looking back on Year 9 online profiling – where was I then? Where am I now? Where will I be in two years’ time? And 10 years?
- Start to identify a key Career area that interests me – research the qualifications and skills needed for that career; make an imaginary application for a job in that area
- Decision making – what decisions have I already made? What decisions lie ahead of me now?What tools do I have available to me to help me make those decisions?
- Labour market information – how does the world of work look now and what are the factors which will affect the workplace I will be joining?
- Complete a journal to encourage reflection on strengths and qualities and produce a list of action points for the educational choices which lie ahead
At the beginning of Year 11, all students will complete the Morrisby Online questionnaire. This measures students’ verbal, numerical and abstract aptitudes. It also takes a snapshot of interests, preferences, talents and motivations. Students then receive a personalised report giving them an insight into their work style, the type of role they aspire to, the type of workplace that might suit their interests and personality, and how to get to where they want to go. The report also gives practical advice on careers, subjects and courses students might like to explore further. Following discussion of this report with their parent/guardian, students may also opt in to a careers interview with Eugénie Pasco to discuss the findings and subsequent action points in more detail.
Following this, all students will also participate in a half-day Careers Workshop, facilitated by an outside provider. The session will focus students on the crucial process of understanding their personality, skills, interests and values. Each of them will complete a planning document to highlight the importance of being able to communicate what they learn and know about themselves to others, helping them to prepare for possible future interviews and the so-called ‘killer question’ “So, tell me about yourself”.
In Year 11, Careers lessons form part of the General Studies rotation. Students spend approximately five weeks with the Head of Careers and will complete activities and class discussion based around the following:
- Presentation skills - practical and strategic advice on how to give an effective and memorable presentation
- CV writing
- Letter writing
- An introduction to alternative pathways after Kingswood, including apprenticeships
- An introduction to financial planning and budgeting
Careers Education and Guidance in the Sixth Form is delivered during the Friday afternoon General Studies programme and provides a number of opportunities for interaction with employers. The programme is supported by outside speakers from Careers Education agencies and by parents, local employers and Kingswood alumni.
Careers Seminars (Lower Sixth)
During the first term of the Lower Sixth, students attend a number of Careers Seminars. These are led by professionals from a wide variety of career areas who speak about their employment journey and the challenges and rewards of their workplace. The seminars also provide students with an opportunity to benefit from training in how to ask questions and how to network effectively.
Work Experience (Lower Sixth)
In the Summer term, all Lower Sixth students leave the Kingswood campus for a week to undertake work experience. They are encouraged to undertake a placement which closely matches their intended university course and to focus on improving their knowledge and understanding of the particular career area with a view to highlighting this in their higher education applications.
Many students use their own personal networks of family and friends to help them to secure a work experience placement, while others take advantage of the School's strong links with a range of local employers to secure the experience that they are looking for.
Students fill in a reflective log book during work experience to help them to focus on key areas of personal development. At the end of the week, students are asked to reflect on how their knowledge and understanding of the workplace have been strengthened, with a particular emphasis on how their employability skills have developed.
Additional Careers activities (Lower and Upper Sixth)
- Preparing for interviews workshop
- Networking and personal impact workshop
- Alternative Pathways and apprenticeship information session
- Coordinating attendance at Medlink and the Royal United Hospital Sixth Form Conference for those students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related careers.